How to Pack for a Trip to Florida
Packing for a trip to Florida isn’t as simple as throwing your clothes into a suitcase; you’ll need to take into account the climate and current season, as well as where you are traveling and by what means. Driving down to Florida is much different than taking a plane regarding space and item restrictions. Planning to go the beach in Florida is different than spending the day at a theme park. Read on for advice on how to pack your bags for your trip, as well as what you cannot pack on an airplane.
What Clothes to Wear in Florida
The temperatures in Florida are fairly favorable all year round; however, during the winter, lows range around 39 °F to 65 °F (depending on location) to daytime highs between 65 °F to 77 °F. This warmer winter weather makes Florida a popular winter vacation spot, as it isn’t too hot or too cold. If you plan on going to Florida during the winter, you should pack:
- at least one pair of jeans
- a couple pairs of shorts
- a couple of t-shirts
- a sweatshirt or light jacket
- a pair of shoes
- winter hat and gloves (optional)
With the cool temperatures, you won’t need a heavy winter jacket with you unless Florida goes through the rare cold spell. Even though it’s winter, it is still very sunny out - sunscreen is still a must. Be sure to have one pair of pants for a particularly cold day; otherwise, shorts should be just fine. Also, take into account how long you will be staying. If you plan on being in Florida for a week, bring enough clothes to last you the trip (unless you have access to laundry).
In the summer, temperatures have lows around 70 °F or 80 °F, while highs tend to sit in the lower 90s °F. Visiting Florida during the summer would call for much lighter clothing than when traveling in the winter, along with other accessories. If you plan on visiting Florida during the summer months, you should pack:
- a couple pairs of shorts
- t-shirts and/or tank tops
- a sweatshirt (optional)
- a pair of comfortable shoes
- a pair of flip flops (optional)
- plenty of sunscreen
- sunglasses and a sun hat
- umbrella and/or poncho (optional)
Summers in Florida are very sunny and humid, so expect to be out in high temperatures during the day. Sunscreen is a must, as well as a good pair of sunglasses. If you plan on going to a beach, pool or water park, don’t forget your swimsuit!
Have you ever been to Florida?
Florida receives the most rainfall during the summer months; even if you check the weather before heading out for your trip and it promises sunny skies, don’t rule out the possibility of rain in the summer. Because of this, a small umbrella or poncho is a good idea, especially if you plan on being out and about all day. The time between winter and spring are the state’s driest months, however, where rising temperatures and little rainfall often result in brush fires. It isn’t worth bringing an umbrella if you are visiting in the winter or spring months.
What to Pack for Special Attractions
Depending on your plans during your stay in Florida, you might want to pack different items. For example, if you plan primarily on going to the beach, you’ll need a bathing suit, flip flops, suntan lotion, sunglasses and other necessities. Some important items to pack for the beach include:
- plenty of sunscreen
- bathing suits
- a towel or blanket
- an umbrella (optional)
If you’re spending the day at a theme park, you’ll want a comfortable pair of shoes, however, and appropriate clothing to go on attractions with. When going on attractions, you are often required to leave your bags with the operators of the ride until you are finished - not the best thing if you have a lot of valuables. Some good things to bring to a theme park include:
- cash (as opposed to credit)
- comfortable shoes
- a small, lightweight bag
When at a theme park, it is easy to drop your wallet or lose track of a debit or credit card. When you finally realize your card is gone, it could have already been used by someone else, making cash a much better option. You’ll want to have the least amount of valuables on you as possible. Personally, I prefer wearing boys cargo shorts with huge, buttondown or velcro pockets; that way, I don’t have to worry about carrying around a bag for my wallet, phone and other objects. If there is someone in your party that doesn’t enjoy rides, however, valuables can be left with them while they wait.
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Traveling by Airplane
If you plan on flying to Florida to visit, your luggage will be limited but carry-on and check-in space, as well as what the TSA allows you to bring. If you are close enough to drive down, you can bring as many items as you can fit into your vehicle, as well as your own food and drink. Airplanes, on the other hand, restrict certain items in your carry-ons and other luggage due to safety concerns. Some examples of this include:
- sharp objects; box cutters, knives and scissors
- sporting goods; baseball bats, hockey sticks and more
- guns and firearms; ammunition, guns and more
- tools; hammers, drills, wrenches and more
- self defense items; night sticks, throwing stars and more
- explosive materials; fireworks, flares and more
- disabling chemicals; chlorine, liquid bleach and more
A full list of items prohibited on airplanes and carry-ons can be found on the TSA government website. Some of the items listed, while not allowed on the airplane itself, can be stored in checked luggage for the duration of the flight. Also keep in mind the space in your bags; you’ll want to leave some room for souvenirs!
10 Hot Florida Attractions
Questions & Answers
How old do I have to be to ride a plane?
The only age restriction I know of applies to flying alone - if you are under 12 years old and flying without an adult, you are considered an unaccompanied minor and will need to be supervised to and from the plane. If you are older, you can fly alone without assistance.